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DEAR JON LETTERS
Sort 424: Blind-Sided
And other back-side hits in popular culture

by Dear Jon
April 13, 2010

I had a house guest over the week-end who was neither a fan of golf nor of Tiger Woods, so my tentative plan on how to spend Sunday afternoon went out the window. Instead we watched a borrowed copy of the movie Blind Side. As it turns out this is a girl movie about family and relationships, all centered around a football player who started out as a homeless orphan. I think it wins for date movie of the year, and makes the all-time list. 

The problem is, I watched it with a bunch of guys who thought it was a football movie with Sandra Bullock in it. We all agreed it was a great movie, but that we had wasted the "date movie" capital since our wives were not with us.

Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson wins the Masters. And all the proponents of a morally-guided universe breathed a big sigh of "amen."

We could critique the movie based on the issues it raises, and we can critique the attitudes prevalent among golf fans since last Thanksgiving. I won't in any deep way, but it seems to me that the two are related, somehow, maybe just because I am conflating the experience of a single Sunday afternoon involving celebrated black athletes. The movie shows a disturbing set of cultural and socio-economic realities that do more to reinforce stereo-types than challenge them. In the movie the only functioning African American independent of white messiahs is the snitty NCAA recruiting inspector. And when Bullock's character faces down the crack-dealing hood, she pulls out all the cards, including the fact that a district attorney attends her prayer meeting, so the gangsta better stay put if he knows what's good for him.

Yah. Huh. Blind Side, right? To be honest I'm chilling out on enthusiasm about a trip to Memphis. I was never a big fan of Elvis anyway.

Yet the movie features a group of folks that were trying to make a better world, a difference in what to them boils down to a universe which, if it is not innately moral, is morally guided.

Meanwhile, we all agree that the Masters could not have been won by a nicer guy. I'm just not convinced that it was won by the greatest golfer in the world. This is no slam. Avid readers will recall my article on the FedEX Cup in a previous sort, long before Tiger's Thanksgiving week-end fiasco.

I am beginning to see now why some people identify randomness as the essential nature of the universe. I don't agree with them, but I see their point.  How is this for random:

Conan O'Brien will conclude his comedy tour with a show on TBS set to air in the Fall, maybe November according to the entertainment newswires published by my daily newspaper. Last night I watched Jay Leno's "headlines," and then flipped to Letterman's last five "Top Ten." Maybe the shows were in re-runs or whatever, I don't really care, but I wonder if I can keep doing that experiment--that maybe Leno and Letterman can cooperate to stagger their comedy instead of their careers.

This makes George Lopez the big loser. Apparently TBS thinks they can bump him to midnight and keep their share of viewers. Considering that by midnight, the only viewers of basic cable in the continguous 48 states are the approximately 60,000 junkies hiding out in dirty motel rooms waiting for their high to hit. Face it, Lopez knows as well as everyone else that by midnight, his core viewers--working Hispanic Americans-- are going to bed because they are still the strata in society that draws all the rotten shifts at work and if they are not up by 5:30 to open the store/restaurant/shop/whatever, it's their butts in the fire. Anyway, Lopez has got to be wondering what HE ever did to ANYBODY to suddenly get blind-sided in the epochal White Man's Television Hissy Fit of our time. He needs to line up a commercial with Oprah--maybe during the World Series.

The best thing that can happen, in my humble opinion, is that FOX bring on Lopez and dump O'Reilly. That would make O'Reilly the big loser in all of this, which would be great, and it would get me watching FOX. O'Reilly could still find a job, though, taking leadership of Michigan's secret Armeggedon Militia cults that are currently floundering after all those arrests. 




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